STUDENT WRITERS SHARE STORIES
Blogs are a medium for individuals to write their opinions on current events, situations and different topics of their choosing, then publish them on the Internet for family and friends to read.
Northwestern has also jumped on the blogging bandwagon, providing students with opportunities to tell their personal stories or offer advice to current and prospective students using sites such as Ncourage and NWC Stories.
Freshman Jonathan Johnson started blogging for NWC Stories at the recommendation of his advisor. A blog directed toward high school prospective students, Johnson writes a blog post for NWC Stories about once a month, reflecting on his experiences at NW.
“Blogs make things more real for the audience,” Johnson said. “It gives a chance for people to read about others’ perspectives.”
Johnson also enjoys reading blog posts by other student bloggers because it gives him the opportunity to read about the lives of others, their stories, backgrounds and personal experiences.
Beth Benschoter, a senior Christian education and youth ministry major, had a similar response regarding the benefits of Ncourage and NWC Stories.
“I read Ncourage because you get to hear people’s stories and how God has worked personally within everyone’s life,” Benschoter said. “It’s also cool to see how everyone’s story is different, but they still point to the same God.”
Benschoter, who recently wrote for Ncourage, also has a blog of her own. She started the blog in high school because she enjoyed creative, reflective writing.
“I usually write about moments where I’ve grown or learned a lot in my faith,” Benschoter said. “I’ll also write after trips I’ve been on, such as a Spring Service Partnership or Summer of Service.”
Benschoter also said that she uses her blogging as a platform for conversations where people can comment about an experience similar to the one she has written about.
“I think it’s fun to write and post pictures and to just hear from others,” Benschoter said.
Another NW student with their own blog is junior Christian education and youth ministry major Halle Van Vark.
“I started my blog after my older brother passed away in a car accident,” Van Vark said. “Writing gave me a chance to process my thoughts and allow people to relate to the experiences I was going through.”
Van Vark’s blog posts consist of ideas and topics that God has laid on her heart. Van Vark puts a lot of time and prayer into her posts to make sure it’s a topic that needs to be written about.
Additionally, Van Vark uses her blog as a platform to talk about how God is working in her life.
“Blogging gives me a chance to show vulnerability but also to receive vulnerability from others who have experienced similar things within their lives,” Van Vark said. “Overall, I think blogging helps build community.”
Thinking of starting a blog? Van Vark said that writing a blog should not be for others or to receive affirmation from peers.
“Start a blog to process your thoughts or to look back on your life,” Van Vark said. “Write one to see how God has answered your prayers over the years. In other words, write a blog for yourself.”